Local firefighters ready to ‘Fill the Boot’ for Muscular Dystrophy
“This is a movement that inspires all of us to transform our perceived limits into limitless possibilities so we can live life to the fullest.” — Firefighter Thomas Wastart
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Since 1954, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) have raised half-a-billion dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) — you can be a part of that next week.
On Aug. 29, firefighters, and elected officials gathered at Iverson Park to announce this year’s ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign. During Sept. 6-7, firefighters will be taking donations in large boots at the intersection of Division and Main Streets to raise money for the MDA.
Last year, local firefighters were able to raise over $18,000 for the cause, and this year expects to be no different.
“The ‘Fill the Boot’ plays an important role in the advancing MDA’s mission and honored tradition that impacts so many individuals,” said Firefighter Thomas Wastart. “But if you ask the kids about their favorite thing the MDA does, they will tell you it is the MDA summer camp.”
While funds raised go to the MDA for research and medical equipment for those afflicted with the forms of muscular disease, the annual summer camp held in Kenosha is a bright spot for the organization, giving kids the confidence to live freely with MD.
“The fill the boot campaign means so much to our families,” said Elizabeth Nelson, Manager for the Firefighter/MDA partnership. “It’s really empowering to see firefighters out there holding those boots; helping families to have a voice.”
There are 150 state-of-the-art MDA care centers across the nation. As of recent, research has led to four new FDA-approved drugs to help combat and treat various forms of MD.
Mayor Mike Wiza was also on hand to help kick off the campaign.
“I think it speaks a lot to the firefighters and paramedics we have here in Stevens Point — constantly giving of themselves to help better the community they live in,” said Wiza. “It’s really such a selfless act, and I can’t state it enough — they put in their time on their regular jobs, [firefighters and paramedics] and then in their free time they come out and do this as well to help make our community better.”
“The real winners here are the ones who benefit from the money raised, and the kids that go to summer camp,” said Wiza. “I’m going to be out there the best I can, holding the boot on Main and Division, so we hope to see you out there.”
For more information visit https://firefighters.mda.org/